Los Angeles: Film star Johnny Depp’s tumultuous divorce from actor Amber Heard was finalised on Friday, ending the couple’s marriage after months of highly publicised claims by Heard of domestic violence and counterclaims from Depp of financial blackmail.
Court papers filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday detailed a splitting of marital assets and an agreement by Depp, 53, to pay a previously announced sum of $7 million to Heard, 30, that she said will be donated to charity.
Heard filed for divorce in May after 15 months of marriage, and days later obtained a temporary restraining order against Depp.
She said in court filings that Depp was abusive to her throughout their marriage, culminating in an argument in May in which he hurled a cell phone into her face and shattered various objects in her apartment.
A lawyer for Depp denied allegations of abuse and argued that Heard was “attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse”.
“We are all pleased to put this unpleasant chapter in Mr Depp and his family’s lives behind them,” said Laura Wasser, a lawyer for Depp.
“Having his request for entry of the dissolution judgment granted today made it a particularly lucky Friday the 13th.”
As part of the divorce settlement, Heard dismissed her request for a continued restraining order against Depp.
She also dropped her defamation lawsuit against Depp’s friend, comedian Doug Stanhope, over an article he had written accusing the actor of blackmailing and manipulating her estranged husband.
The divorce papers showed that Depp would retain sole possession of numerous real estate assets, including properties in Los Angeles, Paris and his private island in the Bahamas. He will also keep more than 40 vehicles and vessels, including vintage cars and his motorcycle collection.
Heard will maintain custody of her dogs Pistol and Boo, the two canines at the centre of a scandal in Australia in which Heard pleaded guilty to falsifying travel documents to sneak her pets into the country in 2015 without proper quarantine procedures.
Heard said she would split her $7 million divorce settlement equally between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
Court papers said Depp has paid $200,000 of the settlement so far, and will pay the rest over the course of the year.
The payments will be made from Depp’s compensation from his upcoming film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and sale of some of his properties, the papers showed.
Heard’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, hailed the finalization as a “great day” for his client, adding, “All Amber wanted was to be divorced and now she is”.
There was no immediate statement from Depp.
Meanwhile, aside from his highly public divorce case, Depp has been entangled in another case. On Friday, he sued his former business managers alleging they mismanaged his earnings throughout a lucrative period of his career, although the company says the actor’s spending is to blame.
Depp’s lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against The Management Group seeks more than $25 million, alleging its owners failed to properly pay his taxes, made unauthorized loans and overpaid for security and other services.
Michael J Kump, an attorney for The Management Group, calls Depp’s lawsuit a “fabrication” and wrote in a statement that Depp never alleged any wrongdoing. The company “did everything possible to protect Depp from his irresponsible and profligate spending,” Kump wrote.
Depp’s lawsuit accuses the company and its owners, attorneys Joel and Robert Mandel, of receiving $28 million in payments for their services over the roughly 16 years they managed his finances. The company “actively concealed the true state of Mr Depp’s finances while driving him deeper and deeper into financial distress,” the lawsuit states.
Depp hired the Mandels in 1999 and their compensation was not subject to a written contract, his lawsuit states. It states they received 5 percent of his income on hit films such as the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and other major releases, including Alice in Wonderland and the 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
It alleges the company failed to file Depp’s tax returns on time, costing him nearly $5.7 million in penalties. The lawsuit also alleges the company overpaid for several services, including forgetting to terminate the lease on a home where Depp’s mother lived temporarily, and spending $8 million on security between 2012 and 2015 alone.
Depp’s learned of the problems after hiring a new management company in March 2016, the complaint states.
Kump wrote that Depp owes The Management Group $4.2 million from a $5 million loan they provided the actor. “His tactics and lawsuit will fail, and he will be forced to pay back the loan as promised,” Kump wrote.
The lawsuit came on the same day Depp finalized his divorce from actor Amber Heard. Their divorce judgment calls for the actor to pay his ex-wife $7 million in installments — which she has earmarked for two charities — while allowing him to keep numerous properties and vehicles.
Depp isn’t the only blockbuster star to take his former managers to court alleging mismanagement. Nicolas Cage sued his former business manager seeking $20 million for alleged mismanagement in 2009 and the manager in a countersuit cited the actor’s spending for his financial troubles. The case was resolved before trial.